Paper or Plastic?

January 19, 2011

School just started last week and my to-do lists are already getting out of control. One of the things on my to-do list is a research paper for a competition. Therefore, when I was at the library the other morning, I decided to grab a few of the books that are on my “book list” for said paper. I also decided to grab a coffee…because the two cups I made earlier that morning apparently didn’t do it for me. Plus, library = coffee, right?

Completely Unnecessary

After creeping my way through the stacks and wondering if anyone has ever gotten lost up there, I made my way to the check-out counter. I piled my books in front of the young college student who was behind the counter and he rang them up one by one…probably wondering if these books on food colorants even belonged to the library because according to the “records”, it was only checked out two times before…and guess who checked them out during those times. Just guess.


After ringing them up, I was reaching out to re-gather the books into my arms, juggling my coffee and attempting to put my cell phone back into my bag and the confused college student behind the counter asked a question that had me questioning…everything.


“Umm…would you like a bag?”

Questions flooded my mind and I figured it was only a matter of time before he asked, “Paper or Plastic?”

What? Wait, I’m at the library, right? You have bags? Is it considered embarrassing if you are checking out so many books that you need a bag? I have apparently never checked out this many books at once. I said no and acted like it was no big deal that I was juggling 5 bulky books in my hands. No big deal, right? Next time, when I am not quite as caught off-guard by the question, I might say yes. Because anyone who knows me would not be surprised to see me with a library bag full of food science books. Casual reading books, though? Now that would be grounds for an intervention because that is not on the aforementioned lengthy to-do list and I’m not about to add it! Fiction and I don’t really get along very well.

 Have you encountered this situation at the library? If you do sometime in the future get asked this question…say, “yes”. They don’t ask unless you truly need one. Trust me.

One comment

  1. Yes! Bags at the library is a new concept to me as well! I had to write a research paper (a 10 pager in SPANISH eek!) so I went to the lib to get some books. The checkout guy offered me a bag too…and I just staired at him blankly haha.

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